Corporate Communications use case best practices
Thanks for joining this session on the Corporate Communications Use Case. This session continues on from where we left off in the Information Architecture and Storefronts Use Case sessions and assumes that you have a good understanding of Jive. If you are new to Jive and have also not reviewed the Jive Basics, Managing Places and Community-wide User Experience Configuration sessions, please do so before this one.
Types of Official Content
In the info architecture and storefronts sessions, we talked about official content. Official content is anything that is a resource and source of truth for employees. There tend to be two main types of official content:
- Documents like policies, guidelines and documentation. These are normally not changed very often. In previous sessions, we have recommended using native Jive documents or uploading files for official policies, guidelines and documentation.
- News and announcements have a shorter lifespan of interest or relevance to users. They can be used to call attention to newsworthy information either inside or outside of the organisation. For example, a new CEO or corporate merger. We recommend using blog posts as the content type for this type of official content.
As we learned in other sessions, while news and announcements need to live in a place (or personal blog), they can be pushed from those places onto the community home page. Since official news and announcements tend to be about one of the topics that you have created storefronts for, it makes sense for them to live in the same storefront as the other content related to that topic. Jive news streams can be set to display only the blog posts that live in a place so that only the news goes onto the community home page.
Official news and announcements take two forms in Jive:
- News that is pushed to all employees
- News that it pushed to the home page only for a certain audience like a team, department or people who work in a certain office. In this case, the content may be open to anyone to read, but it is only appears on the home page to the people it is most relevant to. As a reminder, this news can be targeted at an individual, profile field or user permission group.
Use News Streams to Retire Emailed NewsPush news streams in Jive quite often replace emails or emailed newsletters. While we recommend that you allow your users to read their news on the home page, we also recognise that it can be important to drive users to Jive to read the news stories by sending emails, at least at first.
This is a technique for “weaning” users off of emailed news:
- Post the news stories on Jive as they are written - into the appropriate place
- Instead of sending emails that include the full text of the story, send emails that link back to the story in Jive so that employees get used to reading news in Jive
- Add a little note on the emails saying that while the emails will soon be going away, users can continue to find their company news in Jive. Continue this, perhaps, for a few weeks or months - depending on what you know about your audience’s reliance on email.
- Send one final email letting users know that they will no longer receive emailed news
- Option: Jive news streams can be configured to send emails. So instead of using your email distribution lists, you can use this setting if you want to continue to send news in emails. Or, you can reserve this for the really important stuff.
- And a final note on this technique: it is a lot easier to convert users to reading their news in Jive when it is the default browser landing page. If you have the option to do this in your organisation, we highly recommend it.
And here is a way you can use Jive to create a “newsletter” and retire your emailed one.
- In this scenario, you will post the news stories into the place they are related to in Jive. And you will have a separate space for the “newsletters” themselves. This one can be named something like “in case you missed it” or even be the same name as your current newsletter.
- Set up the news stream for the stories themselves as a regular news stream.
- Set up a separate news stream for the newsletter which targets the space you created for the newsletters. Configure this one to send out emails.
- Post the news stories on Jive as they are written instead of waiting till you have the newsletter ready to go.
- Once a week, or whenever you want to send out the newsletter, create a new blog post in the newsletter space which has links to the blog posts that were posted during the time period.
- This will trigger the email and effectively send out a newsletter to all users.
- There is a caveat to this technique: there are no images in the emails coming from Jive - only the link and text will appear in the email. So if your users are used to a beautifully designed newsletter - and really like it, this technique may not be for you.
- However, doing this can save hours and hours of time spent on the old newsletter
- Another option is to keep the beautifully designed newsletter but only put teaser text in and make sure to link to the full story in Jive
And consider these best practices before you get started:
- Keep it simple - don’t overwhelm users with too much information on the home page. Only set up news streams for the really important stuff. How does this content align with your corporate strategy? If it doesn’t, don’t create a push news stream.
- Place the most strategic news stream at the top/first position
- Consider who the audience is and how large it is. Creating a news stream for only a few users is not usually necessary unless it is a very strategic group (like the executive team)
- Make sure that you will have fresh content posted in each of your streams at least weekly. If you won’t, consider combining news for several different topics into one stream. For example, Company News can include announcements from Corporate Communications, HR, IT, etc)
- Use one “specific users” stream plus multiple stream rules for a type of targeted communication. For example, name your stream My Department and add rules for each department under the same stream name. Remember you only have 10 streams - make sure to use them wisely!
- Consider a joint executive blogging place or system blog so execs can share the responsibility of keeping it fresh
When you did the community structure exercise, hopefully you included news and announcements in the content types for topics that need them. This makes it easy to figure out which storefronts will include blog posts as one of the content types.
Follow these steps to implement the communications use case:
- Using your community structure and content inventory exercise outputs, identify which topics will have news and announcements
- From this analysis, create a matrix of stream name, rules, and the places and audiences who will make up the rules. It might look something like this:
- Use the blog content type for news and announcements. Always include an image either in the blog banner or body of the blog to create a visual interest.
- Set up the streams as you learned how to do in the Community-wide User Experience Configuration session - using the green blog post icon instead of the place icon
Monitor your readershipIt is important to pay attention to your metrics and adjust your communications strategy when necessary.
- Each blog post has impact metrics which shows you data such as number of unique views and total number of views. For more information on the data in the impact metrics, please review the Community Analytics nugget.
- Are the stories being read? If not, should this stream continue?
- Are some topics read more often than others? Give users more on this topic - and figure out what is compelling about the popular topics and integrate that into less-read ones
- Does the day, time or tone seem to matter? Adjust your posts to capture the best readership possibilities.
Thank you for joining this session. If you will be using your community for collaboration, please review the Collaboration Use Case session.